The month of Gore-Tex.
The 31 sun-deprived days of fleece, down comforters, knee-length socks, and long underwear pulled up so high, not even Grandpa Joe could compete with your mid-weight, merino-wool-studded rump.
So it goes that, when in my apartment, I turn on as many other easy-to-use electronic devices to generate heat, and, because I can’t leave the door of my microwave open (radiation or something), I find as many excuses as possible to use my toaster (Toast! Bagels! Waffles! Uh…more toast? Yes! More toast!). It was in this state of mind that I picked up these toaster pastries.
And they suit my toaster just fine.
After toasting on medium, the crust is crisp and crackling, breaking with a respectable few crumbs post-toast. Nipping at a corner edge, the chocolate crust seems weaker than usual, tasting more of stale graham crackers and burnt charcoal than chocolate. Fortunately, the frosting, with its milk-chocolatey, candy-like crunch, does its best to pick up the pace a little, and… hey! Sprinkles!
Sprinkles have the unique ability to make me feel I can do anything. Truly. Nothing makes me want to go out and self-engineer a robotic crane without an engineering degree more than sprinkles.
But back to the taste. The inside jam is gooey, if a bit thin to my unrealistic, excess-demanding American brain. The strawberry flavor is pronounced, sugary and a bit flowery. It may be a little flat or sweet for those who like non-hypoglycemic-inducing jams, but, if taste is any indication, the pastries are delighted to have their hyper-sweet, summery strawberry bellies. Can you blame them? Strawberry bellies are the bomb.
You know that scene in Back to the Future II where Doc dumps banana peels and beer into the DeLorean’s Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor before it rockets away? That’s what Pop-Tarts does. They take an amalgam of ingredients (some of which other companies might consider “trash”), combine those ingredients together, and voila. Something respectable, sometimes even downright brilliant, is born.
For me, these weren’t downright brilliant, but respectable? You bet. Sure, the crust may have tasted a little like burnt crackers and maybe the chocolate was weak, but they’ve got a decent amount of gooey strawberry filling, they provide a warm vehicle for an especially frigid January, and, friends, sprinkles.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 190 calories, 35 calories from fat, 4 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates, <1 gram of dietary fiber, 17 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)
Item: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Frosted Chocolatey Strawberry Pop-Tarts
Purchased Price: $1.98
Size: 8 pastries/box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Candy chocolatey shell. Sprinkles. Gooey insides. Strawberry bellies. Reasons to use your toaster. May inspire spontaneous engineering feats. The DeLorean.
Cons: Low chocolate levels. Thin-ish filling. Crust tastes a bit of stale cracker meal. Insides may be too sweet for some. All those layers of wool socks. Not having an engineering degree when you need one.